In the News
In the News
In the News

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    • The Washington Post reports on Cyren Call's long odds in the upcoming 700 MHz spectrum auction. Morgan O'Brien, who founded Nextel in the 1980's, hoped to create a commercial wireless business that would also build the first interoperable nationwide first-responder network. However, with FCC Chairman Kevin Martin's proposed auction rules looking unfavorable for Cyren Call, O'Brien has a new plan: “After the auction, O'Brien wants the public safety community to hire Cyren Call to negotiate the build-out agreement with the company that buys the spectrum. That arrangement would allow O'Brien to collect sizeable fees without having to invest a corresponding amount of his money toward building the network…”

    • The Associated Press reviews the Universal Service Fund, the account paid for by long-distance surcharges and spent to subsidize rural telephony deployment. Originally meant for landline telephone services, the Fund is now also distributed equally with cellular networks, even though such networks are much cheaper to build. For example, Mississippli's wireless carriers received some $314 million from 2003 to early 2007, Puerto Rico $236 million and Kansas $139 million. Congress and the FCC are considering several possible reforms, among them a capping payments to carriers and expanding the fund to include rural broadband deployment.

    • Amp'd Mobile, which tried to win customers with wireless broadband, video on demand, and downloadable applications, is going up for sale. Amp'd filed bankruptcy in June, and was unable to find debtor-in-possession financing to pay the $370,000 daily bill it owed Verizon for access to its network. This comes one week after the VoIP company SunRocket shut down.

    • For the second time a court refused to hold a ban on Qualcomm's chips in its ongoing patent dispute with Broadcom. Unfortunately for Qualcomm, Verizon has sidestepped the dispute by paying Broadcom for the right to import the affected chips. Verizon can import as the Qualcom chips it wants for $6 a handset, though it promised not to support Qualcomm's effort to overturn the chip ban

    • In Nashville President Bush went on the record about a performance royalty for television and radio play, albeit without much detail. Here's the transcript:

    Question: Mr. President, music is one of our largest exports the country
    has. Currently, every country in the world — except China, Iran, North
    Korea, Rwanda and the United States — pay a statutory royalty to the
    performing artists for radio and television air play. Would your
    administration consider changing our laws to align it with the rest of
    the world?
    President Bush: Help. (Laughter.) Maybe you've never had a President say
    this — I have, like, no earthly idea what you're talking about.
    (Laughter and applause.) Sounds like we're keeping interesting company,
    you know? (Laughter.) Look, I'll give you the old classic: contact my
    office, will you? (Laughter.) I really don't — I'm totally out of my
    lane. I like listening to country music, if that helps. (Laughter.)